Type 1 diabetes

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Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where your own body attacks the cells of the pancreas which produce insulin; it is thought to be inherited, i.e. run in families. This leads to an inability to produce the hormone insulin which is essential for the control of blood glucose levels. Insulin is released from the beta cells of the islets of langerhans in the pancreas, in response to a high glucose concentration, e.g. after eating a meal[1]. This release of insulin causes the liver to convert this glucose into glycogen in the process known as glycogenesis[2]. In a person who doesn't suffer from diabetes, this response is immediate and helps cope with the influx of glucose. This response is vital in maintaining homeostasis. However, in a person suffering from type 1 diabetes, this response is not present.

Some of the complications associated with type 1 diabetes include:

Some patients with type 1 diabetes may suffer hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia even when they are being treated with exogenous insulin, although this is a rare, severe form of type 1 diabetes[4].


  1. Kimber M Simmons and Aaron W Michels. Type 1 diabetes: A predictable disease.World J Diabetes. 2015 Apr 15; 6(3): 380–390.
  2. Rei Noguchi,1 Hiroyuki Kubota,2 Katsuyuki Yugi,2 Yu Toyoshima,2 Yasunori Komori,2 Tomoyoshi Soga,3 and Shinya Kurodaa,1,2,4.The selective control of glycolysis, gluconeogenesis and glycogenesis by temporal insulin patterns. Mol Syst Biol. 2013; 9: 664.
  3. Mayo clinic. Type 1 diabetes. 2017 [Cited 27/11/18]. Available from:https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-1-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20353011
  4. Health Quality Ontario. Pancreas Islet Transplantation for Patients With Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: A Clinical Evidence Review. Ont Health Technol Assess Ser. 2015; 15(16): 1–84.
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